Approximately 960,000 non-residential building square feet — including retail, restaurant, office, institutional, and industrial buildings — were built in Chester County in 2020. New non-residential square feet construction was lower than 2019.

Non-residential data can vary between years, due to the limited number of total projects and large outlier projects. Additionally, the timeframe of available data is too short to determine trends. However, both projects and new constructed non-residential building square feet increased from 2016 through 2018, before decreasing in 2019 and further decreasing in 2020. In 2020, a total of 39 projects were completed totaling 961,413 square feet. The average square feet per project decreased slightly from 2019 to 2020. Institutional and commercial uses had the highest amount of new square feet added in 2020.

West Whiteland Township saw a significant number of projects in 2020, with eight built projects. With the construction of over 100,000 square feet each, Uwchlan Township, West Whiteland Township and Upper Uwchlan Township had the highest growth in non-residential square feet. Upper Uwchlan Township and West Chester Borough added the largest amount of commercial square feet, West Whiteland, and Uwchlan Township the largest amount of institutional square feet, and Uwchlan Township was the only municipality with industrial development.

Key Points

  • New non-residential square feet slightly decreased from 2019 to 2020.
  • There were a total of 39 non-residential projects totaling 961,413 square feet built in 2020.
  • Institutional and commercial uses constituted the majority of new square feet added in 2020.
  • Three projects with over 100,000 square feet were constructed in 2020; an expansion to the Church Farm School in West Whiteland Township, a commercial warehouse manufacturing spec building in Uwchlan Township, and a flex office space in Upper Uwchlan Township.
  • West Whiteland, West Goshen, and East Whiteland Townships had the highest number of non-residential projects from 2016-2020.
  • Uwchlan, West Whiteland, and Upper Uwchlan had the highest amount of non-residential new square feet from 2016-2020.